Like anything in life, camping comes with its share of wonderful and awful experiences. Quite recently, my wife and I endured a nasty camping experience thanks to some rather warm weather (try 30 degrees at midnight). With summer rolling around, I thought I’d throw out a few tips to help keep such bad camping experiences to a minimum.
1: Location Location Location:
It’s an obvious fact that nobody goes camping in the desert during the summer months. Not only might the camping be uncomfortable, but you also risk death. Serious business! Look for a site close to a body of water, and well shaded from midday and afternoon sun. If you are camping somewhere with mountains, try and choose to camp at a higher elevation. Higher elevation=lower temperatures.
2: Insulate Your Accommodation:
Just as the worst of the cold weather radiates up from the ground into your sleeping quarters, so does the heat. Get a tarp under your tent to try and help insulate from the heat, maybe double it over if you can. If you’re swagging it, use a stretcher bed to get some ground clearance. Cover the whole shebang with tarp if you can, a nice thick tarp too with the silver side up to reflect the sun. Set this up at least a foot above your tent/swag but probably higher; you’ll want some shade yourself!
3: Get That Airflow:
Tent’s and swags get incredibly stuffy in the heat! I hope you’ve got a setup with good airflow feature’s because one door and a pokey mesh window ain’t gonna cut it. Leave the fly off your tent if possible, if you’ve got one of those bells and whistles type swags; open up the stargazer mesh on top. I have a 12v fan for those really hot nights. That’s a top option for people like myself in roof top tents but also viable if you don’t mind running a power lead from the car (or using a lot of D cell batteries). If all else fails, lather up with insect repellent and flake out on the picnic table. Doesn’t get much breezier than that!
Remember people; drink less alcohol and more water during the day to prevent an uncomfortable situation becoming one of deadly dehydration or heat stroke. Choose relaxing in the shade or swimming as your preferred camp activities and don’t forget the sunscreen! First degree burns will surely ruin your experience.